The countdown to Opening Night vs. St Louis Blues: 11 days
The WJC knockout tournament started yesterday, with high hopes for all Avs prospects involved. To start, Russia played short-handed Germany on their magical run.
Germany gave it the best they could, but their weak legs caught up to them and they just lost out on their battle with Russia 2-1. Russia pulled ahead 2-0 and Germany could not quite pull off the comeback, falling just short of a miracle semi-finals appearance. You have to give props for the Germany squad and their resilience in the tournament.
Russia takes the win 2-1, but hats off to Germany for their showing this tournament. pic.twitter.com/AnQRirKhjL— TSN (@TSN_Sports) January 2, 2021
The second match of the day was Finland vs. Sweden, which saw Elder Söderblom pull of yet another spectacular goal in this tournament:
BETWEEN THE LEGS. TOP SHELF!— TSN (@TSN_Sports) January 2, 2021
6'8 Elmer Söderblom's signature move makes it 2-0 Sweden on the PP. pic.twitter.com/ErtNymOERM
Even with a 2-0 Sweden lead, the Fins did not give up. In fact, with only 23 seconds left in the third, Finland came all the way to clinch their spot in the semi-finals and defeat Sweden 3-2, and has probably created some fun between Mikko Rantanen and Gabe Landeskog:
FINLAND PULLS AHEAD!— TSN (@TSN_Sports) January 2, 2021
Roni Hirvonen puts Finland ahead 3-2 with just 23.3 seconds to go. pic.twitter.com/Dj1cO35Xum
Something tells me Mikko going to have Gabe wearing a Finland jersey to camp tomorrow— Mile High Hockey (@MileHighHockey) January 2, 2021
The third match-up came between Bowen Byram and Team Canada facing the Czech Republic. Bowen Byram would wear the ‘C’ for the first time in the game, but Team Canada were short-handed even before dropping the puck, with Avalanche prospect Alex Newhook out of the line-up due to an upper body injury.
Changes to the Canadian line-up...— #WorldJuniors (@HC_WJC) January 2, 2021
Alex Newhook (upper body) will not play. #WorldJuniors pic.twitter.com/d8WwgHCjIz
Hopefully Newhook recovers soon and can still have a good season with Boston College later on. Onto the game, Team Canada won a hard-fought game 3-0, which deserved a Czech Republic goal by the end of the game. The game was generally pretty even and saw Byram score a beautiful goal for Canada’s second of the night:
GAME OVER! @DevonLevi33 is brilliant in a 29-save shutout and books its spot in the semifinals with a win over .— #WorldJuniors (@HC_WJC) January 3, 2021
Up next: TBD in the SFs on Monday.
Looking like a young Cale Makar pic.twitter.com/L6mcN0MbIm— Mile High Hockey (@MileHighHockey) January 3, 2021
Byram has looked spectacular throughout the tournament, and the further Canada goes, the better he will get. Avs fans have something to be super excited for with the young and core defense in the future.
The night-cap saw Avs prospect Drew Helleson and Team USA face Slovakia for the final semi-final spot in the tournament. Team USA had a tough challenge but eventually pulled away in the third to defeat Slovakia 5-2:
TO THE SEMIS! #USAWJC #WorldJuniors— USA Hockey (@usahockey) January 3, 2021
Recap: https://t.co/3FSLzD9aCS pic.twitter.com/hfR10nSVkD
Drew Helleson could not find his way onto the score sheet in this one, but regardless his country makes it to final four with Canada facing Russia in semi-final #1, and the USA facing Finland in semi-final #2. Both semifinals are rematches of medal games from the last tournament and will surely be fun to watch on Monday night.
As the WJC’s come to an end, there is more to be excited about for the Avalanche: we play hockey this month! Yesterday saw the Avs reveal the roster for training camp starting tomorrow:
The work starts Monday.#GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/ezssbNMfZw— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) January 2, 2021
The announcement of the roster came with not too many surprises for Avs fans, and only entices us further. The NHL offseason is finally almost over, and the season is right around the corner. Words cannot describe how excited fans are for this season, even if there are no fans to begin the season at Ball Arena. We cannot wait to see what the 2021 season brings, and training camp marks the start of a hopeful season for Avs fans. We will hopefully see Gabriel Landeskog raising the Stanley Cup in July, it is all we can dream for.
We are almost there Avs fans! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, stay safe, and Avs hockey is right around the corner!